July 31, 2014 Tooktik2805

Throwback Thursday | Sofitel Legend Metropole

In Hanoi, Vietnam, a lucky discovery in the back garden of the Sofitel Legend Metropole has led to the development of an old bomb shelter into a new wartime memorial.

During reconstruction of the hotel’s bar, crews found a long, narrow, semi-subterranean room made of concrete. Over the years, groundwater completely flooded the chambers and corridors…but after the hotel’s engineering crew pumped out the water, they discovered a few relics — an old wine bottle, a still intact light bulb, air vents, and metal blast doors.

During wartime, the hotel’s employees sheltered guests into the relative safety of the underground chamber from the mid-1960s through the Christmas Bombings in 1972.

A team of six local historians is being trained to accompany hotel guests on a tour that culminates with a descent into the wartime shelter. The “Bunker,” as it’s to be known at the Metropole, will be open to hotel guests and staff, as well as local Hanoians.